Photo by Svein-Magne Tunli – tunliweb.no, CC BY-SA 4.0
Wondering where to hunt the Northern Lights in Canada? Well, you’ve come to the right place!
Canada is one of the best places to see the Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis. This breathtaking phenomenon that illuminates the sky with bright dancing lights is only visible in some parts of the world.
Luckily, Canadians have an advantage and can see the Northern Lights right from the convenience of their own homes and their backyards. This mesmerizing view in the sky occurs when the sun’s electrically charged particles enter the Earth’s atmosphere resulting in streaks of green, purple, red, yellow, and blue. It is truly a breathtaking view, and many people dream of seeing these dancing lights.
#1000towns will tell you about the best places to see the northern lights in the Great White North.
Fun Fact: Did you know the Southern Lights are called Aurora Australis and occur in the southern hemisphere?
Polar Bear Capital
Also known as the world’s Polar Bear Capital, Churchill is one of the best spots on the planet to see the Northern Lights. It is located in the Northern Hemisphere right beneath the Auroral Oval, allowing visitors to see the dancing lights over 300 nights a year.
The best time to view the northern lights is between January to March.
Aurora Capital of North America
Yellowknife is known as the Aurora Capital of North America. Yellowknife is just 512 km south of the arctic circle.
Its northern location means there is a constant geomagnetic activity which causes the beautiful dancing lights phenomenon. The Northern Lights can be seen up to 240 nights a year.
The best time to view them is mid-November to the beginning of April because these months have the longest nights and clearest skies.
Photo: Xander – originally posted to Flickr as Northern Lights – A Photo A Day (April 9, 2008), CC BY 2.0
Land of the Living Skies
Saskatchewan is known as the Land of the Living Skies, making it a great place to see the Northern Lights. The province is known for its dark and clear skies. Residents of Saskatchewan are fortunate enough to see the northern lights frequently right from their backyard, even within cities like Regina and Saskatoon.
Northern Saskatchewan, in particular, like La Ronge, Saskatchewan, is a good place to see the lights because the skies are very dark in this area, making the colours look brighter than ever.
Jasper National Park
Town: Jasper, Alberta
Dark Sky Preserve
Also known as the Dark Sky Preserve, Jasper National Park is a great place to see the Northern Lights. It is approximately a 4-hour drive from Edmonton but has little to no light pollution maximizing our chances of seeing the lights in the clear sky.
The best time to see the lights in this beautiful location is September- mid May. The best place to view the lights are from Maligne Lake, which is Jasper’s largest lake providing us with wide skies to view the lights.
Fun Fact: Every October, Jasper National Park hosts a Dark Sky Festival where you can learn about constellations and the Northern Lights.
Photo: Chase Dekker, flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Muncho Lake Provincial Park
Town: Muncho Lake, British Columbia
12-kilometres of Jade-colored water
If you see 12 kilometres of jade-coloured water, you know you have reached Muncho Lake.
Muncho Lake Provincial Park is just off the Alaska highway close to the Yukon border. Visitors report Northern Lights sightings in this area all year around. The best time to view the lights is between September and March. These months provide the longest hours of darkness throughout the year, maximizing your chances of seeing the dancing lights.